Monthly Archives: October 2015

Happy International Cat Day,  Halloween and NYC Marathon 2015, UESiders!!

Yes, and it’s the 3-year Hurricane Sandy anniversary, too.

A moment of silence…  A very deep breath…  

Let’s talk First Avenue Bike Island Gardening…  And the fall transformation – withered summer blooms removed, compost added, mulch spread and scores of tulips, daffs, crocus and grape hyacinth planted – that’s been working it’s way up from 60th to 96th Street and ending tomorrow!

Island Adopters have been slaving away and the gentlemen of Midtown Courts have lent an absolutely gigantic hand.  

And there’re only 6 months to wait till we see the results!

Meanwhile, there’s the big week ahead to consider:

Saturday,  October 31st:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am–2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

With us will be Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Samascott, Rising Sun, Garden of Spices, Gajeski, Alewife, Cherry Lane and Ole Mother Hubbert Farms! 

Our own Master Knife Sharpener will be at her table, too!! 

Just in from uber Market Manager Margaret:  “This Saturday we host  “Cook Unity” who’ll prepare market-inspired holiday treats!  And keep in mind, Gajeski still has a few ears of corn, but fall’s superstars are broccoli, cauliflower, squashes and, of course, apples!!”

(Alewife’s greens are just stupendous!!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  76 lbs. batteries; 21 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 19 pairs of eye glasses;  9 compost bins; 51 bags of clothes.

(We’re still adding  September battery/cord/etc. totals to weekly figures as we continue sorting!) 

Saturday, October 31st:  Latin Beat on the Esplanade!

East River Esplanade just south of the 103rd Street footbridge, 11am-2pm  (Rain Date TBA)

Featuring the live, fabulous music of Guataca Na’ Ma’ and ice cream from the Vendy award-winning ICE & VICE!   Free with free ice cream to the first 100 folks who stop by!   No kidding our Esplanade’s moving from deterioration to DESTINATION!  

Saturday, October 31st & Sunday, November 1st:   Lowline Lab Halloween Weekend

140 Essex Street, between Rivington & Stanton Streets, 10am-4pm

Add the fabulous indoor garden (test ground for plants that’ll one day transform an abandoned subway station) to your trick-or-treat itinerary and for spooky pix of the family among the greenery and candy for the kids…  Or kids at heart!   Free.  For more

Sundays through November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket 

First Avenue between 94th & 96th Street, 9am-5pm

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

CLOSED THIS MARATHON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1st!

See you next Sunday!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  15 lbs. batteries: 6 lbs. corks, cellphones, cartridges and cords;  3 3/4 bins of compost.

Way to go!

Wednesday, November 4th:  Cornell Technion – Passive Reaches New Heights Lecture

The Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, 8-10am

Who knew  the world’s tallest passive residential housing presently being built on our own Roosevelt Island!  Find out all about its evolution from drawing board to reality. (Yup, this is the building that’ll  be partially blocking southerly views of the 59th Street Bridge.)  Organized by the Urban Green Council.  For tickets ($5 to 15)…

Hard on its heels:

Saturday, November 7th:  E-Waste Recycling Event!

Eleanor Roosevelt High School, 411 East 76th Street, 10am-4pm

Accepted will be:

• Computers (laptops & desktops, servers, mainframes)
• Monitors
• Printers, scanners, fax-machines, copiers
• Network devices (routers, hubs, modems, etc.)
• Peripherals (keyboards, mice, cables, cords, chargers, etc.)
• Tablets and E-readers
• Components (hard drives, CD-ROMs, circuit boards, power supplies, etc.)
• TVs, VCRs, DVRs, & DVD Players
• Digital Converter Boxes, Cable/Satellite Receivers
• Portable music players
• Audio-visual equipment
• Video-games
• Cell phones, pagers, PDAs
• Telecommunication (phones, answering machines, etc.)

NO appliances or smoke detectors.  Media (disks, CDs, and VHS tapes) accepted at a $.50 per item charge.

For further details

Tuesday, November 10th:  Recycling & Zero Waste Forum

West Park Presbyterian Church, Amsterdam at 86th Street, 7-9pm

This time it’s experts ranging from our very own Sanitation Department to The Nature Conservancy to  NYC Pest Control to commercial waste handler SIMS laying out challenges and solutions to Borough President Brewer.  “Bring your questions,” they say.  (We’re New Yorkers.  You don’t have to ask us twice!)  Free but a suggested $5 donation.  To RSVP

Wednesday, November 11th:  Dirt on Dirt – Making Sense of Soil

Seafarers and International House, 123 East 15th Street at Irving Place, 7pm
And we quote, ” Sierra Club Program Digs deep into dirt…  As part of the 2015 United National International Year of the Soils.”  An evening that includes William Bryant Logan, author of “Dirt – The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth” and “DIRT the Movie”.   Moderated by UES pillar of environmentalism, Bonnie Webber.  Free.

And this week’s miscellany is:

In the They Just Keep Coming Department:  Now there are those wanting to transship tar sands down our Hudson River!!  (If you think this is a poor idea…) 

This while the “Dark Act” – denying Americans the right know if there’re GMO’s in their food – makes it’s way through Congress!  (If you don’t like that one either…) 

Did we know that the fracking biz isn’t held to Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act, or Clean Water Act standards?!!  (If you think frackers should be obliged to comply…)

Seems no limit to attempts at rezoning taller/more hulking everywhere in Manhattan… This week focused on environs of the 3-block St. John’s Terminal on the Hudson.  (If only they had a MTS to keep pesky developers away!) 

(On the good side of things, the state of Hudson River water from source to mouth is…  Not too bad!!)

Meanwhile, should you object to the proliferation of towers regardless of where they may on our island… 

And a major doff of the plumed hat:

Props to the Rockefeller Foundation and show producers for funding tickets to to the incredible “Hamilton” for 20,000 NYC high school students!!

Strikes us as the kind of grand, enlightened gesture common in the golden era of American public education some 50 years ago…

Let there be animals:

No kidding, Vogue Magazine posted a kitten video in celebration of National Cat Day

What could be more essential as we approach Halloween than 5 incredible facts about bats?!

No wonder folks love bird banding!  You get to hold baby birds!!

Absolutely, turn that pumpkin of yours into a stellar bird feeder!

Last but not least:

Love that the “most Interesting Man in the World” from the Dos Equis commercials is Grand Marshall of the Village Halloween Parade!!

Our jack-o-lantern will be green,

UGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Energy Awareness Month, UESiders!

News to us that one reason October’s received that designation is it’s the month new and more efficient appliances are introduced!

So, we’re advised, skip the deals on those tired old last year’s models and save your bucks on reduced gas/electric bills!

And now for the 7 fine days ahead:

Friday, October 16th – Sunday, October 18th:  New York City Wine & Food Festival

All Over Manhattan

Stacked sandwiches..  Rock & Roll Sushi…  Tacos & Tequila…  And, of course, amazing classic fare at scores of events.  Tickets from $10 to the stratosphere.  Benefiting The Food Bank for New York City and No Kid Hungry.  For the lowdown… 

Saturday,  October 17th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am–2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

At their tables will be Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Samascott, Rising Sun, Garden of Spices, Gajeski, Alewife, Cherry Lane and Ole Mother Hubbert Farms! 

As if that wasn’t enough, this Saturday the market hosts the fall edition of “Ask Dana” with Dana Jacobi preparing her delicious Brussels Sprout and Kale Slaw and answering your cooking and nutrition questions.

PLUS:  We’ll be raffling off a copy of Dana’s book “Cook and Freeze”…  There’ll be copies for purchase as well! 

And we’ll add this:  Valley Shepherd’s Sheep Yogurt is beyond delicious!!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  84 lbs. batteries; 16 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 29 pairs of eye glasses;  9 compost bins; 25 bags of clothes.

(We’re still adding  September battery/cord/etc.totals to weekly figures as we continue sorting!) 

Saturday, October 17th:  Silicon Dream – The History of the Cell Phone , From Bell to Apple, Google & Beyond!

Meet on the Hudson River Greenway, far side of the West Side Highway at Bank Street, 11am-1pm

An interactive walking tour tracing the thread of communications industry history the runs through Manhattan’s West Side.  Got to be fascinating!  Organized by the Obscura Society NY. $25.  For details and tickets…  

Saturday, October 14th & Sunday, October 18th:  Open House New York Weekend

Throughout Our City

Can’t improve on this description:  “From historical to contemporary, residential to industrial, hundreds of sites across the five boroughs are open to visit, with tours, talks, performances, and other special events taking place over the course of OHNY Weekend. Through the unparalleled access that it enables, OHNY Weekend deepens our understanding of the importance of architecture and urban design to foster a more vibrant civic life, and helps catalyze a citywide conversation about how to build a better New York.”   Amen.  For the vast array..    

Sundays through November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket 

First Avenue between 94th & 96th Street, 9am-5pm

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

With us will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery, Wager’s Cider Mill, Ole Mother Hubbert, Stannard, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms!

Market Manager Margaret says:  “Phillips Farm’s  Eucalyptus smells heavenly!  A single bunch will perfume your whole apartment for a good long while and dries beautifully!  And Stannard’s Farm is your go to farm for pumpkins, whether you want to bake pie with them or just use them for decoration.”

Last week’s recycling totals:  19 lbs. batteries: 6 lbs. corks, cellphones, cartridges and cords;  3 bins of compost.

Excellent!

Sunday, October 18th:  Halloween Howl 2015 & 6th Annual Healthy Hound Fair!

Hockey/Basketball Court, Carl Schurz Park,  1-3pm  (Registration:  11am-1pm)

(Rain Date:  Sunday, October 25th)

No canine costume too intricate or too far-fetched!  Prizes awarded in small dog, large dog, kids and dogs and group costume (minimum of 3 dogs/3 people combined) categories!!  Or just go to be (bow)wowed by the show!  Need we say family friendly?  All proceeds benefit maintenance of the park’s 2 dog runs. 

Tuesday, October 20th:  13th Annual Day in the Life of the Hudson River

From Troy’s Federal Dam to the New York Harbor

A day when thousands of NYC kids will descend on the river with seine nets, minnow pots and water testing kits, do science and establish yet another record of how the river and much living in it was on October 20, 2015.  Get those young ‘uns out there!  For details… 

Friday, October 23rd & Saturday, October 24th:  Czech Day Concerts

Bohemian National Hall Ballroom, 321 East 73rd Street, 7pm

In celebration of the Czech nation’s founding, its New York Consul General and U.N. Representative present a pair of most appropriate works by Czech great Dvorak!  Free and open to all.  (Bohemian Hall is one lovely venue!)  For complete details…  

Only a week away now:

Saturday, October 24th:  Shred-A-Thon – Pre-Halloween Edition

82nd Street between First and York, 10am-2pm

Remember:

NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

And please do remove paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But we do accept paperbacks.)

Take your hardcovers over to Goodwill.

(Thank you, Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for making Shred-A-Thon possible!)

On the horizon:

Wednesday, October 28th:  How Brooklyn Works – Sewers & Waste Water Treatment

128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn,  6:30-8:30pm

And we quote, “A diverse panel of experts shines a light on the system’s history, as well as its contemporary challenges and the creative solutions that will lead to a more sustainable unseen system.”  (Wonder how it and the Manhattan system compare?)  Co-presented by the ever-out-there Obscura Society People and the Brooklyn Historical Society.  Free to members.  Non-members:  $5.  For more

Friday, November 6th:  Invasive Species Summit – Challenges, Strategies and Perspectives

Ross Hall, New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, 10M-4PM

The looming threat from both a global and local perspective, possible remedies and restoration from a line-up of prominent speakers and a moderated discussion. Morning only, member, $10;  Non-member, $20.  Morning & afternoon, member, $39; Non-member, $55.  For more

And down the way:

Tuesday, November 10th:  Recycling & Zero Waste Forum

West Park Presbyterian Church, Amsterdam at 86th Street, 7-9pm

This time it’s experts ranging from our very own Sanitation Department to The Nature Conservancy to  NYC Pest Control to commercial waste handler SIMS laying out challenges and solutions.  “Bring your questions,” they say.  (We’re New Yorkers.  You don’t have to ask us twice!)  Free but a suggested $5 donation.  To RSVP

Miscellany…  Commencing with The Good:

One giant leap forward in environmental strategy:  Greenpeace Sweden is exploring the purchase of German lignite coal mines along with the power plants they fuel and then close both down!!  

On home turf, kind of a Halloween/can’t-kill-it theme (much as Governor Christie tried), someone with vision has managed to create the tiny beginnings of the desperately needed, additional Hudson River tunnel!   (Get busy negotiating funds, Christie and Cuomo!)

There were tide-driven mills on the Connecticut coast in the early 18th Century!

The Bad:

Should you think there shouldn’t be fracking on public lands… 

Holy crow!  BP might well get a tax write-off for the billions it owes us for the horrendous Deep Water Horizon spill…  If you think this should be a no-no

The potentially really ugly:  

Wall do know that the climate change denying Ruppert Murdoch has purchased National Geographic?

Pause:

Guess what?  A new Johns Hopkins’ report links fracking to premature births

Deep breath:

Okay, they’re not critters, but now it’s been established how endangered the world of fungi is, there’s a movement afoot to declare them endangered species

Already happening in Brazil as per this tale of (really!) botanical sleuthing!

High rises affecting your wireless service?  The Times has advice!

Yes, animals:

How great is it that flight around the Javits Center is no longer a potential death sentence for birds!

And that NYS is embarking on a multi-year study of our moose population

Guess a dog’s breed only by its ears?

10/2 – Manhattan, HRM 1: In addition to our usual innumerable YOY oyster toadfish, we caught an adult male blue crab this week, a bit unusual for us, at The River Project’s Pier 40 sampling site in the Hudson River Park. We saw many blue crabs all over our traps, but they kept eluding us by leaping off.  –  Jessica Bonamusa

And this is an oyster toadfish:

Oyster Toad Fish

Oyster Toadfish

Yikes!!

Ever more green,

UGS

 

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Happy Poetry Day, UESiders!

So why not a Market evocative/seasonally appropriate excerpt from Frost’s “After Picking Apples”:

The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall…

Yummm…  Apples…  Samascott…  Phillips Farm…  So many delicious varieties…  Apple Juice…

Okay…  Okay!  Let’s get down on the week ahead:

Saturday,  October 10th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am–2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

With us will be Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Samascott, Rising Sun, Garden of Spices, Gajeski, Alewife, Cherry Lane and Ole Mother Hubbert Farms! 

Still waiting to hear from our Master Knife Sharpener…

And this from Market Manager Margaret:  Ole Mother Hubbert’s got great new fall gelato flavors…  And don’t Alewife’s icicle radishes and rare varities of squash! 

Last week’s recycling totals:  78 lbs. batteries; 15 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 4 pairs of eye glasses;  9 compost bins; 22 bags of clothes.

Will be adding  September battery/cord/etc.totals in weekly as we sort!) 

Sundays through November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket 

First Avenue between 94th & 96th Street, 9am-5pm

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

At their tables will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery, Wager’s Cider Mill, Ole Mother Hubbert, Stannart, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms!

Fingers crossed Wagers Cider Mill returns this Sunday (Wow!  Their concord grapes!)  And may there still be corn and tomatoes!! 

Last week’s recycling totals:  12 lbs. batteries: 4 lbs. corks, cellphones, cartridges and cords;  4 bins of compost.

(Another big fat 4 compost bins!)

Tuesday, October 13th:  “Talking Truth – The Real Story Behind the East 91st Garbage Station”  Screening

St. Joseph’s School of Yorkville, 420 East 87th Street, 6:30-8:30pm

Join Pledge2Protect, Congressmwoman Carolyn Maloney, Assemblymen Dan Quart and Robert Rodriguez and Council Member Ben Kallos and be among the first to see this no-holds-barred, community/volunteer-produced film and unflinching exploration of how and whys behind the MTS and the unconscionable, looming harm it presents to some of our city’s most vulnerable. Free.  To RSVP

BE THERE!

Saturday,  October 17th:  It’s My Park Day – Part I

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 11am-3pm

Daffodil, tulip, crocus and muscari planting, folks…  And a continuation ofthe scraping/painting that’s making the Esplanade railing look so great!  On the Esplanade, yes, but there’ll be planting going on in the presently sad beds on the perimeter of the park at 96th and First  No doubt about it, we’re turning the far east UES into one citizen-created masterpiece!

You could plant this!

You could plant this!

Saturday, October 17th:  45th Annual Manhattan Country School Annual Farm Festival 

Manhattan Country School, 7 East 96th Street, 11am-4pm

Featuring bushels  of fresh produce, lots of games, arts and crafts, bouncy houses, live music and a space-themed haunted house!   Free admission.  (Next year, both festival and school move to the West Side…)

Sunday, October 18th:  Halloween Howl 2015 & 6th Annual Healthy Hound Fair!

Hockey/Basketball Court, Carl Schurz Park,  1-3pm  (Registration:  11am-1pm)

(Rain Date:  Sunday, October 25th)

No canine costume too intricate or too far-fetched!  Prizes awarded in small dog, large dog, kids and dogs and group costume (minimum of 3 dogs/3 people combined)!!  Or just go to be (bow)wowed by the show!  Need we say family friendly?  All proceeds benefit maintenance of the park’s 2 dog runs. 

Friday, October 23rd & Saturday, October 24th:  Halloween Murder Mystery at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Gardens

421 East 61st Street, 6:15pm & 7:30pm

Family-friendly sleuthing – loosely based on a crime covered in a period newspaper article – in the UES’s own historic house museum!  Follow the clues…  Discover the victim’s identity…  Pin the culprit!  Great for kids 8 and over.  Adults, $25; Members, $15; Children, $10.  Reservations required.  For more and tickets:  212- 838-6878.     

Saturday, October 24th:  Shred-A-Thon – Pre-Halloween Edition

82nd Street between First and York, 10am-2pm

Only two weeks now…

And the Shred-A-Thon rules:

NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

And please do remove paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But we do accept paperbacks.)

Take your hardcovers over to Goodwill.

(As ever, thanks to Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for their grants!)

Saturday, October 24th & Sunday, October 25th:  Giant Pumpkin Carving Weekend

New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Parkway, The Bronx, 10am-6pm

Master Carver Ray Villafane  and a host of assistants transform giant  pumpkins into a Halloween-inspred tableau and share their secrets of inspired pumpkin carving!  While you’re at it, check out the even more giant pumpkins on exhibit (courtesy of the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth) in the garden, too!  Adults, $25; Seniors and Students, $22; Children, $10.  Children under 2, free.  For more and tickets

Saturday, October 31st:  It’s My Park Day – Part II

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 11am-3pm

More planting with an especial emphasis on the ribbon of daffodils along the FDR wall…  More scraping/painting…  More fun and fabulous snacks!!  This is the care and feeding of our Esplanade!!

As ever, a dollop of all-over-the-map miscellany:

Surprise-surprise!  There’s a relationship between the air we breath and how long we live!

And we quote, “Microbead bans advancing statewide…”

As if it wasn’t already obvious…  Yup, NYC housing is three times more crowded than the American average

(Remember…  Those 91,000 applications for 230 affordable Hell’s Kitchen apartments?)

Meanwhile, this from Senator Krueger’s newsletter:  

“My Micro NY is now accepting applications for 14 newly constructed micro studio apartments at 335 East 27th Street in the Kips Bay neighborhood in Manhattan. Rents for these apartments range from $950 to $1492 depending on unit size. To be eligible, applicants must have incomes between $34,526 and $89,830, depending on family size…”

It’s come to that.  Families in apartments from 270 to 350 square feet!

From Recycling Today:  Re-purposed reefs, recycled tennis balls and more! 

An amazing array of classes at the Botanical Garden’s midtown branch!  (Birch paper cutting?!)

But not-so fabulous news at the BG’s recent conference on the state of native plants... 

Okay:

host of NYParks’ events the next two months – and almost all of them free – for viewing Draconoid, Orionid, Moon, Taurid and Geminid meteor showers!!

Of course, an actual person – a 19th Century lady paleontologist and discoverer of some of the first dinosaur bones! –  inspired “She sells sea shells”  

Of course, it was inevitable…  The pizza-eating rat Halloween costume!

Great woodworking classes?  Have to get out to Brooklyn to Makeville for them, but take a gander… 

Proper care for your wardrobe of fabulous sweaters…?

Knew “Moscot” was a great old New York brand and once fixture on the Lower East Side…  But a decades-long celebrity trade…?

AND:

Jenny Paul, the all but unnaturally clever leader of the UES’s Census effort now has a web comedy show:  “That Reminds Me”!   (Come on!  You know you’ve always yearned to be hip!)  

Time for critteres:

Not that we don’t want the best for Fido, but it seems NYC’s now the city of $1,000,000  dog runs

And the world’s hardest working cats are

Perky, migrating Sanderlings pause for a snack en route from Siberia to Australia! 

Turtles in swim suits for a good cause…?

Discovery of the first glowing sea turtle!

An orphaned, baby possum

Meanwhile, a long-time, non-adoptable feral cat colony’s about to be displaced by Hudson Yard construction

And from the Hudson River Almanac:

9/18 – Manhattan, HRM 3.5: There is a particular corner in Bryant Park, in midtown Manhattan at 42nd Street, near my office, that has a bird bath and begonias where I sometimes see common yellowthroats. Today I went there during lunch and was stunned to see a male American redstart walking among the flowers. There were also an ovenbird and several female yellowthroats. Just as I spotted the redstart, someone standing nearby carrying binoculars saw the bird as well. We were both surprised to see a redstart in Bryant Park; neither of us had seen one there before. Nice birding in Manhattan! – Caroline McDonald

American Redstart - male

Male American Redstart

Yours in greenness,

UGS

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Happy First Time a European Recorded/Wrote the Name “Manhattan” Day, UESiders!

Yes, and we quote Half Moon first mate, Robert Juet, who did that writing on October 2, 1609:

“[W]e saw a very good piece of ground; and hard by it there was a cliff that looked of the colour of white green, as though it were either a copper or silver mine; and I think it to be one of them by the trees that grow upon it; for they be all burned, and the other places are green as grass; it is on that side of the river that is called Manna-hata.”

(For more on the subject…)

Fast forward to last week’s market where – as you likely noticed – another young fellow was filling in for Pablo at the Valley Shepherd table.   A Rutgers grad in food science, that Saturday was his last day of a post grad/hands-on stint at the dairy.  This past Monday, he started work at a dairy giant feeling the heat from the Greek yogurt craze and looking to perk up their product with fresh ideas!

And, of course, every one at those tables has a story…   

A ton of stuff going on October 2015, so let’s plunge in:

Thursday, October 1st –  Sunday, October 4th:  Ocktober Filmfest 2015

Poet’s Den Theater, 309 East 108th Street

Yet again, Poet’s Den impresario Raphael Benavides puts together a first-rate 4 days of shorts, docs and features…  Even  kid-friendly programs!  For the full line-up/schedule

Friday, October 2nd:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

McBurney House, 125 West 14th Street between Sixth & Seventh, 6:30-8:30pm 

Starmaster John Pazmino explores the subjects of autumn skies and – wow – deep sky objects! PLUS John shares his favorite targets, tips and tricks of fall star observing!   Free.

Saturday,  October 3rd:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am–2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

With us be Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Samascott, Rising Sun, Garden of Spices, Gajeski, Alewife, Cherry Lane and Ole Mother Hubbert Farms! 

And, yes, our Master Knife Sharpener will be at her table, too!

News Flash from Market Suprema Margaret:  “Samascott has chestnuts…  Cherry Lane’s got broccoli…  Gajeski’s loaded with colorful cauliflower and winter squashes…  Then there’re Alewife’s ginger and radishes to spice things up!  Could well be the LAST WEEK for corn and tomatoes, so contemplate freezing and/or canning some!” 

(You can check on weather and markets at www.grownyc.org.)

Last week’s recycling totals:  55 lbs. batteries; 6 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 9 compost bins; 15 bags of clothes.

Look for September totals (and there are some mighty heavy bags to be sorted!) next week. 

Saturday, October 3 & Sunday, October 4th:  The Gracie Square Art Show

86th Street & East End Avenue, 10am-5pm (rain or shine)

An Upper East Side classic which for 43 great years has been a mainstay of the great Carl Schurz Park Conservancy – NYC’s oldest conservancy!  As always, there’ll an amazing array of oils and watercolors, prints and sculpture, photographs and more by a 100-plus artists… There’re even classes for kids with a MOMA instructor and great casual eating!   For more...

Saturday, October 3rd:  Pop-Up Reading Room at Four Freedoms Park

Four Freedoms Park, Roosevelt Island, 12-5pm

Think an 8 X 8 foot cube that unfolds creating seating, shelving, a podium and an array of intriguing books…  A one-day only feature of the Park Conservancy’s Imagination Playground for children.  Free, of course.

Sundays through November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket 

First Avenue between 94th & 96th Street, 9am-5pm

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

At their tables will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery, Wager’s Cider Mill, Ole Mother Hubbert, Stannart, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms!

Think concord grapes and grape juice from Wagers Cider Mill…  Stannard’s beautiful pumpkins…  Ole Mother Hubbert’s fall gelato flavors…  Meredith’s fall pie…  Phillips’ fantastic array of 2015 apples!

(You can check on markets and weather at www.grownyc.org.)

Last week’s recycling totals:  4 lbs. batteries: 3 lbs. corks, cellphones, cartridges and cords;   4 bins of compost.

(Got to do some sorting before we can update battery/cork/cellphone/cartridge/cord totals!)

But Compost Manager David kept tabs on those big green bins while we were away!  To wit:  August 30th, 4 bins;  September 6th, 3 1/2; September 13th, 4 1/4; September 20th, 3 1/2! 

For a grand total of 15 1/4…  Add to that last week’s 4 and we’re talking 19 1/4!!!!

Way to go, people!!!!

Wednesday, October 7th:  Holmes Towers Stakeholder Engagement Meeting

Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, 415 East 93rd Street, 6pm

Housing Authorities representatives present their arguments for infill housing…  And we, their neighbors, should be attentive and attending.

Saturday, October 10th:  Audubon New York/American Littoral Society Hawk Watch at Fort Tilden

Building 1, Fort Tilden, Queens, 10am-1pm

Yes, hawks…  But there’ll also be  falcons, ospreys and a host of migrating feather friends to take in from various hawk watch platforms, the beach and dunes!  Led by the great Don Riepe.  Free. For more, contact Mr. Riepe at 718-474-0896 or donriepe@gmail.com.

On the horizon:

Saturday,  October 17th:  It’s My Park Day – Part I

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 11am-3pm

Daffodil, tulip, crocus and muscari planting, folks…  And a continuation ofthe scraping/painting that’s making the Esplanade railing look so great!  On the Esplanade, yes, but there’ll be planting going on in the presently sad beds on the perimeter of the park at 96th and First  No doubt about it, we’re turning the far east UES into one citizen-created masterpiece!

Saturday, October 17th & Sunday, October 18th:  Lowline Lab Opening Weekend

140 Essex Street, 12-6pm 

Inspired by the Highline and still experimenting as to how to build and maintain a lush,signature garden underground, in an erstwhile subway station, presently situated in what was once the Essex Street Market (which, we’re promised, will be back in operation in new quarters one day soon).   Lots of good science and the experimental plants look gorgeous!! Free and open 12-6 weekends thereafter.  For further details

Thursdays till October 22nd:  Run Like a Pro on Randall’s Island

Ikahn Stadium, Randall’s Island, 6-8pm

Really, how often do we get to pound around a genuine, IAAF-certified track… While contemplating Olympic laurels that might have been!  All are welcome as long as they’re 18.  Free!!

Saturday, October 24th:  Shred-A-Thon – Pre-Halloween Edition

82nd Street between First and York, 10am-2pm

Bring us your yellowing, unwanted paper yearning to be recycled…

And you know the drill:

NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

And please do remove paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But we do accept paperbacks.)

Take your hardcovers over to Goodwill.

(As ever, thanks to Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for their green and generous grants!)

Saturday, October 30th:  It’s My Park Day – Part II

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 11am-3pm

More planting with an especial emphasis on the ribbon of daffodils along the FDR wall…  More scraping/painting…  More fun and fabulous snacks!!  We’re making our UES parks truly ours!!

Miscellany and pretty much upbeat:

Happiness is NYMagazine’s climate article of last week!  Coal on the skids… Renewables ever less expensive and expansive…  China taking big steps in the right direction… Wow!

(Please let writer Jonathan Chait’s vision be right.)

Meanwhile, the EPA’s just issued more stringent pesticide rules that’ll give greater protection to farm field workers

And scientists are now able to make ever more accurate measurements on the effects of earth’s forests from the International Space Station!

Add to that that NYS seems to be waking up to the delusion of endless, perpetual landfilling of solid waste and the need to embrace a practice even recently considered so outre…  Composting!

And, hallelujah, our public libraries’ budget is up by $40-some million…  Meaning longer hours in more branches!!  

Plenty less impactful but all the same, happy the State’s allocating $1.4M to outdoor recreation access programs for Central New York State lands this coming fiscal year!   

The great Eric Sanderson’s at it again…  Morphing his genius Mannahatta Project to the all-five-borough-embracing Welikia Project, complete with new site and maps!   

Then there’s Patricio Gonzalez Vivo’s 3-D Manhattan map!

Meanwhile:

Whew!  That brownfield site up on 110th Street is now pretty darned squeaky clean!

As if we didn’t know how pitifully little park-space exists on the UES…  The new NY4Parks report and map underscores the point…  (“However, Manhattan has proportionately low park and playground acres per residents, with only 1.7 acres of city parks & playground per 1,000 residents..”)

(And NYCHA wants to build on the Holmes Towers’ playground…)

Huh?  Dunbarton High School of Pickering, Ontario – CANADA! –  has been designated the Greenest School on Earth!

Kudos to the U.S. EPA for offering an online Green Sports Resource Directory to help teams, leagues and stadiums reduce carbon emissions and waste and be recognized for being so green! To get the lowdown;… 

Kudos, too, to Anthony Gonzales who co-developed the FITGuard, a mouthguard that measures a hit to the head when folks play sports from football to rugby

Have an opinion on NYC street vendors?  Express it

And in the are-we-totally-crazy column:

Not just build a gas pipeline, but build that pipeline cheek-by-howl with the Indian Point Nuclear Plant!  (If you think it’s a bad idea…) 

Not to immediately appeal NY Supreme Court Judge Chan’s ban of the styrofoam ban decision (What planet is she living on?  What’s up with our mayor?)

Way out in left field:

Very much impressed by – as The Times puts it – Todd Oldham’s life after fashion…  Which includes some great DIY home projects!

Who knew Winslow Homer painted – and painted alot – in our Adirondacks!

As for this installment of animals:

Ben & Jerry?  Really?  Yup.  Many dairies supplying milk for their ice cream dock – as in cut off – their cattle’s tails! If you object… 

Fascinating on a lot of levels are the how, why and survival of the imperiled British Columbia white spirit bear…  (Which is white for the same reason golden retrievers are blonde!) 

Then there’s the saga of snowy owls

That living fossil, the horseshoe crab

And the long-suffering American buffalo…  (And check out these buffalo stats!)

For a feel of numbers and kinds of feathered-friends heading southward, here’re Hawk Mountains stats

And thanks to Cornell’s Ornithology Lab’s BirdCast, we can all track bird migration across our NYC skies!

Cricky!  Are raccoons taking over Brooklyn

And then:

What would a week be without something from the Hudson River Almanac…

8/30 – Staten Island: The Macaulay Honors College and Freshkills Park hosted their annual BioBlitz. During a BioBlitz, a team of biologists intensely surveys wildlife within a designated site for a short duration, usually 24 hours. Bioblitzes involve researchers, students, and the general public working together to identify all species in the location, providing a snapshot of its biodiversity. BioBlitz 2015 included approximately 500 Macaulay Honors College students and twenty biologists from the greater New York area. We surveyed two sites: the Main Creek just east of its junction with Richmond Creek, and a tidal wetland abundant in Spartina about a half mile north.
male striped killifish

male striped killifish

At the creek site, we used quarter-inch minnow traps and beach/kayak seining. Our catch included Atlantic silverside, mummichog, striped killifish, striped bass, bluefish, black drum, bay anchovy, and naked goby. Other aquatic life included fiddler crab, green crab, blue crab, shore shrimp, mud whelk, and comb jellies. The water was 75 degrees F and the salinity was 23.0 ppt.
female striped killifish

female striped killifish

At the wetland site, we used only quarter-inch minnow traps because the bottom was too soft to seine. Our catch included Atlantic silverside, mummichog, striped killifish, and striped bass. The water was 84 degrees F and the salinity was 23.0 ppt.

9/14 – Inwood Hill Park: Columbia University created a little marsh adjacent to the park with areas of salt marsh, freshwater marsh, and damp meadow. Spartina [salt meadow cordgrass] was thriving along with grasses that grow in drier places. Goldenrods and New England aster were blooming. Elsewhere along the water, flowers of yam-leaved clematis were suddenly profuse. There, as well as up in the woods, common dayflower was having an abundant second flowering; the flowers were small and low down, but very beautiful. On the path up The Clove jewelweed was now in full flower and white snakeroot was just budding. – Thomas Shoesmith

Yours in perpetual greenness,

UGS

 

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